Opinion Number. 1101

Subject

COMMONWEALTH IMMUNITY FROM STATE LAWS WHETHER STATE STAMP DUTY IS PAYABLE ON DOCUMENTS EXECUTED BY WAR SERVICE HOMES COMMISSION

Date
Client
The Commissioner, War Service Homes Commission

As regards the documents referred to in paragraphs (b) and (e) of your minute of 27 June 1921(1), I am very doubtful, in view of the decisions of the High Court in the cases of Commonwealth v. New South Wales 25 C.L.R. 325 and Amalgamated Society of Engineers v. Adelaide Steamship Co. Ltd 28 C.L.R. 129, whether the High Court would hold that the documents referred to in those paragraphs are exempt from stamp duty, and I suggest that the question of the liability of those documents be not raised.

As regards the other documents(2), it may be pointed out that if the Commonwealth should not be successful, as regards any particular document in the proposed litigation, it is possible that the States in which stamp duty is not at present being paid on that document will charge stamp duty on that document.

[Vol. 17, p. 424]

(1) (b): Transfers by Commissioner to eligible persons of land previously transferred to him for purposes of Act;

(e): Contracts of sale by Commissioner to eligible persons.

(2) Transfers by direction to Commissioner; mortgages by eligible persons to Commissioner; discharges of mortgages from Commissioner to eligible persons; powers of attorney or delegations for purposes of Act.